The player of the game was Kenta Maeda as he pitched five scoreless innings Wednesday to lead the Samurai Japan over the Major League Baseball All-Stars, 2-0. That game was the first of a five-game series.
Maeda has made comments through his career about pitching in the MLB someday. He showed the MLB why he proved to have a spot in any given rotation as he gave up two hits while striking out two and walking two in front of a crowd of 33,000.
Matt Shoemaker, MLB starter, gave up both runs over six innings of work. He took the loss.
”I am happy to finish my outing with a good result, especially in the first game of the series,” said Maeda, who threw 71 pitches and got the win. ”They made me throw a few more pitches than I wanted in the first inning but I got my rhythm after that.”
The MLB All-Stars beat a Japan split-squad team 8-7 in a warmup game on Tuesday but faced a bigger challenge in the series opener.
”It was very good pitching on their part tonight,” MLB manager John Farrell said. ”We got an opportunity in the first with a couple of men on but Maeda really settled in and pitched effectively with an assortment of pitches for strikes.”
Shohei Otani retired the side in order in the eighth. The 20-year-old right-hander is scheduled to pitch Game 5 before his home fans at Sapporo Dome. He is one-of-two pitchers recorded to have thrown 100MPH+ in a high school game.
The rest of the five-game series includes games at Tokyo Dome and Cellular Stadium in Okinawa.